The three Emirates clubs entered the deciding stage in the AFC Champions League, with the start of the second leg today, through the fourth round, which will be held today and tomorrow, as Sharjah meets Al Rayyan of Qatar in the first group, Al Jazira plays with Mumbai City of India in the second group and Shabab Al Ahli faces Al Ahly team Al Gharafa is in the third group.
The three clubs maintained their hopes of qualifying for the eighth final of the AFC Champions League, after the end of the first leg of the 2022 AFC Champions League groups, through the three cards awarded to the best three clubs occupying second place in the five groups of the West Asian region. In the first group, Sharjah competes with defending champions Al Hilal of Saudi Arabia, Al Istiklal of Tajikistan, and Al Rayyan of Qatar. Al Hilal leads the group standings with nine points, compared to four points for each of Sharjah and Al Rayyan, and Al Istiklal’s balance remains devoid of points.
The Saudi Hilal is the closest to winning the lead after achieving the full mark in the first leg by defeating the three clubs, while Sharjah and Al Rayyan compete for the second place, and the fourth round, and the match that brings them together tomorrow, will be decisive in determining the second place. The first round witnessed the victory of Al Hilal over Sharjah (2-1), and Al Rayyan over Al Istiklal (3-2). 1-0), Sharjah tied with Al Rayyan (1-1) in the third round. Sharjah is the most prominent in the Emirates clubs, after it presented a distinguished level in the first round against Al Hilal, and the “King” narrowly lost with two goals to one, before achieving its first victory by defeating Al-Istiklal, before wasting an important victory and drawing with Al Rayyan. And the Sharjah coach, Roman Cosmin, expected, at the end of the first round of the first group, fierce competition, during the remaining matches, for the first and second places of the group.
For his part, Al Jazeera stuck to hope in the second group, with its third place with three points, four points behind the Saudi youth leader, and one point from the Iraqi Air Force, and equal to Mumbai City of India in last place. Al-Jazira has chances to compete for the first place in the group, and he will have a chance to repeat the victory over Mumbai City today when he meets him in the fourth round, which also witnesses the youth meeting with Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya. In the first round, Al-Shabab defeated Mumbai (3-0), and Al-Quwa Al-Jazirah (2-1), while Al-Shabab defeated Al-Jazirah (3-0), and Mumbai City defeated Al-Quwa Al-Jazira (2-1) in the second round. The two matches of the third round resulted in Al-Jazira winning over Mumbai City (1-0), and Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya tied with Al-Shabab (1-1).
Despite the unsuccessful start of “Abu Dhabi’s pride”, losing in the first two rounds to both Air Force and Al Shabab, but the team regained its chances by defeating Mumbai in the third round, and the holder of the professional league title will have only one option, which is to win again against the Indian team before playing two matches. Decisive in front of the Air Force and the youth in the fifth and sixth rounds.
Al-Jazira coach, Marcel Kaiser, expressed his belief that his team performed very well, and expressed his fear that his players would feel tired. On the other hand, Al-Ahly youth are competing in the third group, which is the only one in West Asia, where there is no club representing Saudi Arabia (the host country). Al-Gharafa leads the group standings with five points, a goal difference in front of Foolad Khuzestan of Iran, compared to three points for Shabab Al-Ahly, and one point for Ahl Al-Turkmani. The first round witnessed a tie between Foulad with Al-Gharafa (0-0), and Ahal with Al-Ahly youth (1-1), while Al-Gharafa defeated Ahal (2-0), and Al-Ahly youth tied with Foolad (1-1) in the second round. The third round witnessed a tie between Al-Ahly youth and Al-Gharafa (1-1), and Foolad’s victory over Ahal (1-0). The level of the “Dubai Knights” in the three matches was different, and the most prominent point was that the team had a good “reaction” to return after being late three times and achieving a tie in the deadly time in a scenario that was repeated in the three matches. Al-Ahly youth coach, Mahdi Ali, believes that his team is required to achieve better results in the second round, pointing out that his players have long suffered from a lack of focus, and he hoped to find solutions to that problem in the upcoming confrontations.
Emirates clubs standings in the group stage after 3 rounds
The first group
Al Hilal 9 points
Al Rayyan (4)
the second group
Youth 7 points
Air Force (4)
Mumbai City (3)
Al Gharafa 5 points
Al Ahly Youth (3)
• The group stage in the continental competition will be held in a group format, hosted by Saudi Arabia.
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